The Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry hails from a family that has produced five generations of Black church leaders. Currently National Presiding Minister of The House of the Lord Churches, he has previously served as Chairman of the National Black United Front as well as Founder and President of the African People's Christian Organization. More than 50 years of involvement in church and community service has earned him the title, "The People's Pastor."
Rev. Daughtry's long career of activism began with the civil rights struggles in the 1950s working with Brooklyn CORE and Operation Breadbasket, and continued in the fight for community control of schools in the late 1960s. He subsequently helped to found several organizations, including Black Leadership
Commission on AIDS, Alonzo Daughtry Memorial Family Life Services, which serves the community through innovative programming such as Families of Victims Against Violence, and Alonzo Daughtry Memorial Day Care Center, which provides early childhood education under the motto, "Nurturing and Educating the Leaders of Tomorrow." He currently serves as Chair of National Religious Leaders of African Ancestry Concerned about Darfur.
Reverend Daughtry has previously served as Chair of the New York Citywide African-American Clergy Council, African American Clergy and Elected Officials, and the Association of Brooklyn Clergy for Community Development, which built and renovated more than 500 units of housing for low- and middle-income families in Brooklyn.
His commitment to global human rights and self-determination has led Rev. Daughtry to travel and lecture extensively around the world, and he has participated in dozens of international conferences and conventions, including speaking at United Nations subcommittee meetings regarding South African apartheid, Cuba, the Middle East, and the state of U.S. civil rights.
Currently, Reverend Daughtry is one of a handful of community leaders working with Forest City Ratner Companies to build Atlantic Yards, a $5 billion complex that includes a 19,000 seat arena to house the New York Nets. Daughtry was instrumental in the creation of the landmark Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement that ensures delivery of a wide variety of services to the Brooklyn community, including a state-of-the-art health facility, an intergenerational center, and a community foundation as well as housing opportunities for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, construction jobs for minorities and women, and thousands of other employment opportunities.
Ordained to the Ministry in 1958, Reverend Daughtry was installed as the third National Presiding Minister of The House of the Lord Churches in October 1959. His father, Alonzo, had served as the Church's founder and first Presiding Minister. Daughtry has pastored the Brooklyn congregation since 1958. In 2010, he established a Jersey City branch of the Church, and he also serves as pastor there.
In the field of religion, he has served in various capacities with the World Council of Churches; has studied and done research at the Theological Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland; and has been the preacher in residence at the Interdenominational Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Rev. Daughtry has also lectured at Harvard University School of Divinity and at both Union and New York Theological Seminaries in New York City. Additionally, he was one of the principal lecturers at the 150th anniversary of the Virginia Theological Seminary and his lecture, “A Theology of Black Liberation: the Who, What and How,” was published in the school’s journal.
Rev. Daughtry is a prolific author. His book, No Monopoly on Suffering: Blacks and Jews in Crown Heights and Elsewhere, published by Africa World Press in 1997 with a foreword by Dr. Cornel West, gives a chronology of the building of a movement in Brooklyn which can serve as a guide for the empowerment of any people. His other books include My Beloved Community, published by Africa World Press, Effectual Prayer and Dear 2pac: Letters to a Son, published by Seaburn Press. Other publications to his credit include “Jesus Christ: African in Origin, Revolutionary and Redeeming in Action,” “South African Reader,” “Seize the Future,” “From Magnificence to Wretchedness: The Sad Saga of Black Humanity,” “Inside the Storm: A Report on the Uprising in Crown Heights,” and another work on Tupac Shakur – who joined his congregation at the early age of 11 – entitled, “A Seed Planted in Stone: The Life and Times of Tupac Shakur.”
The pastor appeared in Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues as the minister who married Bleak Gilliam (Denzel Washington) and Indigo Downes (Joie Lee).
Reverend Daughtry is married to Reverend Dr. Karen Smith Daughtry. They have four adult children: Leah, Sharon, Dawnique, and Herbert, Jr; and three grandsons, Lorenzo, Herbert III, and Myles.